We all have ceremonies to remember special events whether birthdays, weddings or the death anniversaries of loved ones. It seems very human to remember the past as the past –whether for nations or individuals- always blends into and raises its head in the present.
Today is a remembrance for the Christians. We remember the night before Jesus was arrested and began His Passion, suffering rejection, torture and death for us. During this Last Supper Jesus restates God’s Covenant in anticipation of His Death- taking the bread and wine (common elements of the Passover ceremony)- with the gift of his continual presence with us in the Eucharist. A God who is with us- not just in the first century but NOW! Holy Thursday is a time to remember God’s promise to us to be with us and the gift of His sacramental Body and Blood.
Holy Thursday also reminds us of the wider Body of Christ, namely all baptized who gather as Church. In John’s Gospel we hear of Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles, acting as a slave, to show not only His humility but how we are called to treat one another. We are called to remember not only God’s presence in the Eucharist but to serve the Body of Christ in the Church through serving the needs of others and showing love. Do we wash the feet of others? Do we try to help others be freed of anxiety, sin, guilt, or a lack of value by pointing them to Christ? Do we try to share our excess with the poor?
Holy Thursday a celebration to remember Jesus’ last day before the Passion, His continuing presence and our need to serve the Body of Christ in the Church as well as act Christ-like toward others.
Christ healed- MDA doctors heal. The connection is clear. Pray for them and support these healers by helping the Mission Doctors’ Association if you can. God bless you!
Brother John Kiesler, OFM